Bok Kai Temple Cultural Hertiage Documentation

Primary Investigators:
Michael Boero and Robert Gelbmike boreo

Faculty Sponsors:
Dr. Marco Meniketti

Project Background:   

Bok Kai Temple in Marysville, Ca. has served the Chinese
community in the region since 1856. The current temple
itself sates to the 1880s. Over the years Bok Kai has collected hundreds of artifacts related to Chinese culture, festivals, and spiritual practices. San Jose State was selected by the board of directors to carry out the task of archaeologically documenting the collection and helping to identify the origins, use, and cultural significance of the objects, which range from decorative temple objects to silk and embroidered Opera robes, and from hats to lamps.
The internship is providing a glimpse into Chinese material cultural heritage in early California. The Bok Kai temple is an active temple with weekly worshipers arriving to pray and leave offerings and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Documentation by SJSU students will lead to comprehensive digital archive and searchable database along with recommendations regarding preservation, curation and display for planned museum.

bok kai

The Skeletal Biology and Temporal Placement of Prehistoric Site: CA-SCL-204

Primary Investigators:
Jasmin Alexander and Alan Leventhal

Faculty Sponsors:
Dr. Charlotte Sunseri and Alan Leventhal

Project Background:Jasmin Alexander

In 1974 a San Jose State University and West Valley
College team of archaeological volunteers salvaged
approximately five burials from a site located in south
San Jose along Coyote Creek that had been designated CA-SCL-204. Since their recovery this small population of ancestral Muwekma Ohlone Indians had been inventoried by several people at SJSU however no comprehensive skeletal analysis had ever been conducted. As a result two students Jasmin Alexander and Colin Jaramillo enrolled in Leventhal’s Spring 2015 Anthropology 195 class along with one of our alumna Deniz Enverova have decided to undertake the skeletal biological analysis of this population. With permission from the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal leadership small samples from this population was sent to Dr. Eric Bartelink (CSU, Chico) for Stable Isotope, to Drs. Brian Kemp and Cara Monroe from Washington State University for Ancient DNA, and to Dr. Jelmer Eerkens at U.C. Davis for Strontium studies. A co-authored final report will publish the results on the skeletal analysis/inventory, stable isotope, ancient DNA, Strontium, C-14 (AMS) dating of these burials. This report will also include an ethnohistory of about the tribe’s relationship to the Santa Clara Valley region written by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Leadership.

College of Social Sciences Foundation Research Grant:
In order to temporally date the site Jasmin Alexander applied for a grant from the College of Social Sciences Research Foundation during the Spring 2015 semester. She was awarded $2000.00 for her research proposal and the resulting AMS dates will be posted here on this profile. The results from this collaborative study will also be presented at future professional conferences.

Information on Jasmin Alexander and Deniz Enverova
Jasmin Alexander is a graduating senior in Anthropology with interest in skeletal biology. She plans on going to graduate school for a Master’s degree in either Forensic Anthropology or Bioarchaeology. Towards the end of September/Early October, 2015 she plans on heading to Spain to attend a bio-archaeology field school addressing Roman Period occupation.

Deniz Enverova graduated SJSU in Anthropology (2008), completed her Master’s degree in archaeology at Bilkent University in Turkey, and recently excavated at Provadiya-Solnitsata in Bulgaria. Recently Deniz was accepted into the PhD Archaeology program at University of Notre Dame in Indiana. She will be focusing in on early old world Neolithic sites and skeletal biology.

The Analysis of the Archaeological Assemblage from Prehistoric Site CA-SCL-671

Primary Investigators:
Matthew Diez and Alan Leventhal
Anthropology 195 Class

Faculty Sponsors:
Dr. Marco Meniketti and Mr. Alan Leventhal

Matt diez

Background: In 1989 Alan Leventhal in conjunction with student volunteers and members from the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and Amah Mutsun Tribal Band conducted an archaeological salvage program on a portion of prehistoric site CA-SCL-671, located in northern Morgan Hill at the historic Murphy Springs locality.

After obtaining a negative declaration from an Archaeological/Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firm the developer proceeded to construct a series of single family houses, thus unsuspectingly destroying a major portion of this site. After construction around the spring ceased the developer noticed an array of potential Native American artifacts in backdirt piles and he contacted Alan Leventhal for an assessment. Upon surveying the impacted areas of the site, Leventhal and Ohlone Indian tribal representatives from the two tribes began collecting many groundstone, flaked stone and formed artifacts such as large dart points from disturbed contexts. Based upon the types of archaeological artifacts recovered, the site had the potential of dating back to either Late Archaic and/or Early Bay time period (2000 – 4000 BC) [Which now dates over 8400 years].

Leventhal requested permission to place a series of test excavations within an area that was to set aside as a park and slightly away from the area of impact. Several of the excavation units yielded stratigraphic integrity that included the superposition of mortars and pestles, manos and metates and flaked stone artifacts. Current research conducted as part of Leventhal’s Anthropology 195 class includes the comprehensive analysis of the recovered archaeological assemblage, temporal dating of the identified strata, obsidian sourcing and hydration studies and the writing of a final report co-authored with Matthew Diez.

College of Social Sciences Foundation Research Grant:
In order to accomplish the C14 dating of stratigraphic living surfaces identified at this site, Anthropology Senior, Matthew Diez applied for a grant from the College of Social Sciences Foundation Research and was awarded $1350.00 for his research design. Four charcoal samples were submitted from two excavation units and the AMS dating results are as follows:
Unit 2 – 100-120 cm bs (below surface) – corrected date 1445 BC or 3458 yrs Before Present (BP)
Unit 1 – 120-140 cm bs – corrected date 2211 BC or 4224 BP
Unit 2 – 160-180 cm bs – corrected date 5549 BC or 7562 BP
Unit 1 – 200-220 cm bs – corrected date 6428 BC or 8441 BP

Since graduating in 2013 Matt has been employed with two Cultural Resource Management firms conducting archaeological surveys and excavation at Pacific Legacy and AMEC Environmental and Infrastructure. More recently he has been hired by the Northwest Information Center at Sonoma State University as a GIS Assistant verifying the mapping of archaeological sites through Geo-referencing, Geo-coding, database querying, and digitizatio

The Skeletal Biology of Prehistoric Site: CA-SCL-2A

 

Primary Investigators: Colin Jaramillo, Jasmin Alexander, Deniz Enverova and Alan Leventhal.

Students Skeletal Biology

Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Marco Meniketti and Mr. Alan Leventhal

Background: In 1961 a San Jose State University field school class uncovered approximately nine burials from a site located in Milpitas that had been designated CA-SCL-2A. Over the years this small population of ancestral Muwekma Ohlone Indians had been inventoried by several people however no comprehensive skeletal analysis had ever been conducted. As a result two students Colin Jaramillo and Jasmin Alexander enrolled in Leventhal’s Spring 2015 Anthropology 195 class along with one of our alumna Deniz Enverova have decided to undertake the skeletal biological analysis of this population. With permission from the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal leadership small samples from this population was sent to Dr. Eric Bartelink (CSU, Chico) for Stable Isotope, to Drs. Brian Kemp and Cara Monroe from Washington State University for Ancient DNA, and to Dr. Jelmer Eerkens at U.C. Davis for Strontium studies. A co-authored final report will present the results on the skeletal analysis/inventory, stable isotope, ancient DNA, Strontium, C-14 (AMS) dating, as well an ethnohistory written by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe.

College of Social Sciences Foundation Research Grant:
In order to temporally date the site Colin Jaramillo applied for a grant from the College of Social Sciences Research Foundation this past Fall 2014 semester. He was awarded $2000.00 for his research proposal and the resulting AMS dates will be updated here. The results from this collaborative study will also be presented at future professional conferences.

Information on Jasmin Alexander and Deniz Enverova
Jasmin Alexander is a graduating senior in Anthropology with interest in skeletal biology.
Deniz Enverova graduated SJSU in Anthropology (2008), completed her Master’s degree in archaeology at Bilkent University, Turkey, excavated at Provadiya-Solnitsata in Bulgaria, and recently accepted to the PhD program in Archaeology at University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

The Analysis and Temporal Placement of the Archaeological Assemblage from Prehistoric Site CA-SCL-314

Nicholas Lara

Primary Investigators: Nicholas Lara and Alan Leventhal.

Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Marco Meniketti and Mr. Alan Leventhal

Background: On August 18, 1978, human remains were discovered during the excavation of a swimming pool at a private residence located along Babb Creek in east San Jose near Alum Rock Park. At that time SJSU archaeologist Dr. Thomas Layton and Anthropology Lab Director Alan Leventhal got permission from the land owner and took the Archaeological Field Methods Class to the site. The field class conducted an archaeological data recovery program that included observations on the in situ skeleton, the screening of the backhoe excavated soils for the recovery of artifacts and ecofactual materials, photographing and profiling the exposed stratigraphy. Afterwards, the students processed the recovered assemblage, conducted analysis, and generated a draft report on the findings. Although this draft report was made available to members of the archaeological community, the report itself was never submitted to the Northwest Archaeological Information Center (then at Cabrillo College) and it was never published.

Since 1978 this archaeological assemblage has been curated in the SJSU archaeological lab. Recently, Anthropology undergraduate student Nicolas Lara who is enrolled in Leventhal’s 195 Anthropology Practicum class has taken the lead to conduct a reanalysis of the archaeological assemblage and co-author a final report on this site. During the early 1980s while reviewing the faunal assemblage it was noted that some human skeletal elements previously dislodged from the location of the in situ burial also have been reanalyzed by Leventhal, Lara and Anthropology alumna, Diane DiGiuseppe (who is currently working as a skeletal biologist).

Over the past 30 years there have been co-authored studies conducted in collaboration with the leadership and members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe on other ancestral Ohlone populations. Bio-Anthropological scholars such as Dr. Eric Bartelink (CSU, Chico) have collaborated and published on Stable Isotope, Ancient DNA by Drs. Brian Kemp and Cara Monroe from Washington State University and Strontium Isotope by Dr. Jelmer Eerkens at U.C. Davis. A co-authored final report will present information on the field work, lab methods, paleo-environmental conditions, skeletal analysis/inventory, stable isotope analysis, ancient DNA, artifact analysis, C-14 (AMS) dating, obsidian hydration and an ethnohistory written by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal leadership.

College of Social Sciences Foundation Research Grant:
In order to accomplish some Carbon 14 dating goals Nicolas applied for a grant from the College of Social Sciences Research Foundation this Fall 2014 semester. He was awarded $1375.00 for his research proposal and the resulting AMS dates from the radiocarbon lab will be updated here.